Kivu: Microcredits Adrift


Video journalist Pacom Bagula has dedicated much of his research to women entrepreneurs in eastern DRC who have built successful businesses with microcredits. Through feature-length and web documentaries, this project tells his story.

  • €21,050 Budget in Euros
  • 2015 Final release date
  • 2 Round winner
  • 4 Locations
  • 9 Durations in months

Pacom Bagula is a video journalist working in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Despite the region's ongoing conflict, he has dedicated much of his research to women entrepreneurs who have built successful businesses through microcredits. Armed with the belief that the future of his native region goes beyond an eventual peace-process, Pacom shows how the establishment of women-led projects can bring about positive changes in North and South Kivu. Women like Martha, mother of six and wife of a struggling fisherman, hoping to pay for her children's education through small community-based credits. Or Jeanne, whose successful micro-financed meat business helped saving her marriage.

However, microfinance is no miracle. While some believe it can indeed help people who don't have access to traditional finance, others argue that microcredits can sometimes lead to higher debts, hidden agendas from financial institutions, and weakened cooperative structures.

To investigate the matter more thoroughly, Pacom has set up an international team of journalists to collaborate on a feature-length documentary and web documentary by using an innovative data journalism tool developed by Journalism++.

The collected data will be compiled into a coherent structure that will serve as evidence to support the leading arguments put forth in this production. On the one hand, the film will show how Pacom leads this project from his Eastern DRC-base and illustrate the key findings through inventive graphics.

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